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What’s the one thing that achieves business growth?

Authentic businesses are the industry leaders who inspire and become household names.

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In the business world, there’s a lot of talk about the latest trends, the next ‘big thing’ in marketing, how to generate new leads, reaching your customers online and so on.

However, there’s not nearly enough talk about something that is integral to your business’ growth and longevity: authenticity.

Authentic businesses are the industry leaders who inspire and become household names. Why? Because in an age where people are time poor and consumers are spoilt for choice, we have learned to look beyond big brand promises and empty gimmicks. Generally speaking, people are looking to support companies willing to stay true to who they are, what they do and how they provide value.

Authenticity begins with us. These days, more and more people are exploring entrepreneurship and let’s face it, it’s never been easier to do so. Thanks to the internet, the playing field has been leveled and we all have access to information at our fingertips. As a founder and leader, how can you be authentic?

Know who you are and what your why is

If there is one thing that is almost certain in terms of the entrepreneurial journey, it’s that it will feel like a rollercoaster ride. There will be times when everything is going great and you’re on top of the world and on the flipside, you’re likely to experience some soul crushing lows. Knowing who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing, will help to keep you on track, even during the darkest of times.

Understand your weaknesses and fears

Isn’t everyone just living the dream according to social media? Living up to perfection is taxing and it takes its toll on those around you as well. Is there anything better than a brand or a person being vulnerable? Regardless of who you are or what type of business you’re running, you will make mistakes. When you understand your own weaknesses and fears, it makes it a lot easier to be authentic and have an honest conversation with your customers and those around you. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid of being vulnerable, but when you allow yourself to be vulnerable publicly, you’ll see how easy it is to really connect with others.

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Surround yourself with the right mentors and always ask for help when necessary

There’s no shame in reaching out to others and asking for help when you need it. Surrounding yourself with the right mentors and people in general helps to keep you accountable. These are the people who will pull you up whenever you lose their way or your vision becomes muddled. So how do you find a good mentor? Look out for someone you look up to and reach out – a good place to start is by asking how you might be able to help them. From there, allow the relationship to grow and evolve organically and see what happens.

Above all else, never forgetting who you are will hold you in good stead, regardless of where your entrepreneurial journey takes you. Best of all, none of the above strategies are hard or costly to implement. However, the benefits of harnessing the power of authenticity in business are priceless.

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Sarah Cannata is a passionate wordsmith, a Public Relations consultant and is the founding editor of This Woman Can, an online community, news hub and digital magazine. Our mission is to help young people and women to realise and maximise their life and career potential. Sarah is also a Huffington Post contributor and has been published widely in print and on websites such as The Age, The Motherish, The Daily Muse, Women’s Agenda and has helped her PR clients to get featured in the likes of the ABC, The Herald Sun, The Guardian and SBS. She is a soon to be published picture book author and has a new eBook available for those wanting to learn more about PR, Kickstarting Your PR Strategy.

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